disciple

noun
dis·​ci·​ple | \ di-ˈsī-pəl How to pronounce disciple (audio) \

Definition of disciple

1 : one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: such as
a Christianity : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospel accounts
b : a convinced adherent of a school or individual a disciple of Freud
2 capitalized, Christianity : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the U.S. in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational (see congregational sense 3) polity

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Other Words from disciple

discipleship \ di-​ˈsī-​pəl-​ˌship How to pronounce disciple (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for disciple

follower, adherent, disciple, partisan mean one who gives full loyalty and support to another. follower may apply to people who attach themselves either to the person or beliefs of another. an evangelist and his followers adherent suggests a close and persistent attachment. adherents to Marxism disciple implies a devoted allegiance to the teachings of one chosen as a master. disciples of Gandhi partisan suggests a zealous often prejudiced attachment. partisans of the President

Examples of disciple in a Sentence

a disciple of Sigmund Freud a circle of dedicated disciples who conscientiously wrote down everything the prophet said
Recent Examples on the Web And, as a disciple of sweat equity, Pobanz said making that impact will require one thing — his corps of volunteers doing their part to make life a little better for fellow veterans. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 31 May 2021 Nor is his subject the lifelong labor of Parry’s disciple, Albert Lord, to complete his predecessor’s work. David Mason, WSJ, 14 May 2021 Legends abound, but the official history explains that in the 9th century the remains of James, the fisherman disciple of Jesus, were transported to Santiago’s original cathedral. Joan Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 2021 The Lions picked the Oregon offensive lineman No. 7 overall Thursday in the NFL draft and the 6-foot-6, 330-pounder already sounds like a disciple of general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, 30 Apr. 2021 The group, led by a disciple of the late racist rabbi Meir Kahane, is allied with elements of a far-right party elected to Israel’s parliament last month. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Apr. 2021 Like Jensen, Moser is another Majerus disciple, having coached at Saint Louis under him from 2007-11. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Mar. 2021 Also a Smith disciple, Doherty, who had spent one season at Notre Dame before taking the job in Chapel Hill. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2021 Travis Tritt, Jimmie Vaughan, Larkin Poe, Guthrie Trapp, and Tim Montana, a disciple of Gibbons and a frequent collaborator, will also appear. Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disciple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disciple

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disciple

Middle English, "follower of Jesus, one of the apostles, pupil," in part going back to Old English discipul, in part borrowed from Anglo-French disciple, both borrowed from Late Latin discipulus "follower of Christ, apostle" (translation of Greek mathētḗs), going back to Latin, "pupil, learner," of uncertain origin

Note: Traditionally explained as a derivative of discere "to learn," but the second element -pulus is neither a known word nor a suffix. According to an alternative explanation, the base is nominalized from an unattested verb *discipere, putatively, "to grasp, comprehend," from dis- dis- and capere "to take, seize" (cf. disceptāre "to dispute, debate," supposedly a frequentative from this verb); this is semantically questionable, however, and -ulus is any case not an agentive suffix.

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Time Traveler for disciple

Time Traveler

The first known use of disciple was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disciple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disciple. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for disciple

disciple

noun

English Language Learners Definition of disciple

: someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a famous person
: one of a group of 12 men who were sent out to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ

disciple

noun
dis·​ci·​ple | \ di-ˈsī-pəl How to pronounce disciple (audio) \

Kids Definition of disciple

1 : a person who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of another
2 : apostle

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